This year has just been nuts. Do y’all remember when I was planning to open a business? Do you? Yeah, me too. It didn’t get off the ground, and other than the setting-up work and occasional blog posts, it’s on hiatus. I’ll get back to it someday. It’s still my passion. But this year. People. This year.
What I thought: I thought that since my kids would be in school four days/week, I’d have all this extra time. I’d been homeschooling through a charter school for a few years, and I remembered how much “extra” time I’d had when they were in public school. I thought it would be like that. And surely I could work 20 hours/week with that much time. Surely!
My first error was thinking that my kids would actually be in school four days/wk on a regular basis. I *love* my charter school, don’t get me wrong… but every four weeks I have work-review sessions with my son, and every six weeks I have them with my daughter. That’s two days/review session per child out of school. Those sessions never overlap. Not only that, but testing weeks (finals, spring testing, etc) have different schedules, and every day of the week their classes get out at a different time… so that means that I have one full day of them being gone, one day where they’re mostly gone, and one half day. Add chauffering in for events and playdates and orthodontist appointments… oh, and spending our afternoons at home nagging them to get their work done? I’m definitely NOT doing less school-stuff than I was last year!
My second error was in forgetting the bigger picture stuff that I do as a housewife. The deep cleaning. Decorating. Yard-work. Household maintenance. Holiday prep.
All the things that make my day-to-day life happen smoothly and “effortlessly” happen irregularly – but they do need to keep happening. I had a moment this spring when I got a chance to go after my pantry and deep freeze, and let’s just say my weightlifting came in handy that day. Embarrassing. Wasteful. Upsetting. I took my own work for granted!
My third error was in forgetting how much time my extracurriculars take, and how much more time I’d like to devote to most of them. I run the ride ministry at church (which takes almost no time), I am part of the mentoring program at church (which varies – but has taken a lot of time this year), I do weightlifting and (theoretically) crossfit, I’m on the prayer team for an anti-sex-trafficking group, and I’m a sewing guild member (ASG). Oh, and I have actual, real-life friends as well as various online communities. And friendships I’d like to develop… at some point. And family, including family in town.
My fourth error was assuming best-case scenario as my default setting. I assumed a couple of colds here and there – but I did not take into account the hits we’ve taken this year, healthwise. I assumed that my husband would be his amazing self… he hasn’t been, no fault to him.
Wait. I should tell you about that. This is real-life relevant Titus 2 stuff. See, my hubs hasn’t been feeling quite himself for a long time. So many Mondays last year he’d end up taking off work, because he wasn’t feeling well. He got to the point where he became super careful of overdoing it – fair enough, every time he did, he got sick. He went to the doc, nothing. Around Christmastime, he started getting pains in his side. We finally got him into the doctor a few weeks after the new year. By the time he got into surgery, six weeks had passed. He had a week at home after the surgery.
In the ten weeks since his surgery, our entire family has been sick twice – and the second time included an ear infection for our daughter and was just generally “sticky” (of course she was out sick one week, everyone else was sick the following week – can’t overlap). I had an emergency root canal, and thus also got a crown put on my tooth. I also had some girly medical issues (which have not yet quite been resolved – but that’s next week). And this last week, my husband was misdiagnosed with an EI on Thursday, spent Friday/Saturday in agony, we spent Sunday in the ER, then he was in the hospital until Tuesday. He’s still not well. Honestly, we’ve spent more time sick than not since his surgery. It’s getting old. It’s GOTTEN old.
My second priority (right after God) is my husband. Life stops when he needs me. I am that wife that goes to the appointments with him. (This has made me mysteriously unpopular with various nursing staff). So for all the time he’s been home sick, I’ve been … just keeping the wheels on the bus going. Nothing extra. And more importantly, it’s not like DH doesn’t do anything at home. He has projects. He has home-improvement things. He does the gardening. And he’s the motivator, the kicker-in-the-pants. He is the rewarder-of-effort. He’s the DAD. It matters that he’s under the weather. It matters a lot that he’s been under the weather for so very long. It sucks, that’s what it does. It sucks.
I have had no time, no processing power, noting to devote to my business. Especially after all my cheerleading efforts resulted in no client-bites, I got discouraged. I did have that e-book… I earned $50 in 2016!! -rolls eyes- But nothing else. -sad-
DH told me way back when that when the kids were old enough, he wanted me to go back to work and help earn money for our family. Just fun money, he didn’t expect the world – but enough so the kids could have extras and we could pad the retirement account, pay for college, that kind of gig. (That’s what his folks did). When I broke my foot, I knew I wasn’t going to be working retail at night to do that … which is the only time he’s reliably home. (Reliably home is an interesting phrase when your husband is in IT, let me tell you).
So I’ve had this pressure, this baseline understanding that I need to step up and perform – and I was going to do it. I was going to follow my dream AND follow my husband’s wishes.
But life happened. This doesn’t mean that the image consulting gig will never happen, that I’m closing up shop or something. I’ve learned so much – when I’m ready to push again, I’ll be able to do a much better job. And I’m going to go in a slightly different direction. I have a couple of books in me too, books I’m working on (intermittently, see above) as we speak. I haven’t given up.
But life. Dude. Life.
The 2016-17 school year has been one heck of a ride. It’s almost over. Thank heavens. I’m ready to have a summer to repair and get everyone healthy, and then yes, eternal optimist that I am, I’m ready to learn the steps to the dance I’ll be dancing this coming year. New beginnings are the bomb.
But that’s what’s been going on behind the scenes here.
PS Yes, DH is okay. I mean, he’s sick from sucking down enough antibiotics for a small cow and the whole “abscess in throat” thing, but he’s basically OKAY. Not in any danger. Just feeling like garbage. And I’m grateful.